The modern world calls for modern solutions, and in greatest demand are innovative technologies and fresh mechanisms to assess problems and prioritise community needs.
The REC Sustainable Investment Forum, which took place in Kyiv on October 20-21, 2016, was organised with today’s challenges in mind. More than 150 participants discussed several challenges and related issues, focusing particularly on the five Ukrainian municipalities involved in developing local environmental and energy action plans (LEAPs): Cherkasy, Fastiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Nizhyn and Poltava.
The forum represents the continuation of an initiative that started in 2015 when these five municipalities joined the REC framework programme “Strengthening the Local Environmental Planning and Environmental Civil Society in Ukraine” and committed themselves to integrating environmental and energy security issues into local development planning processes. The LEAPs elaborated by these municipalities are not only a tool for steering local economic activities along a track of sustainability, but also a prerequisite for investment. By combining the results of environmental and energy audits with public opinion assessments, LEAPs establish a basis for a comprehensive understanding of community needs.
In the twin context of the REC framework programme for Ukraine and local planning processes, the Sustainable Investment Forum represents the narrowing of a gap between understanding community needs and fulfilling such needs through concrete projects and initiatives. This two-day event provided a platform for local government and civil society organisations from which to generate dialogue and cooperation with world-renowned institutions — such as the Bellona Foundation, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation, and the United States Agency for International Development — as well as with representatives from businesses and public institutions.
During the first day of the forum, representatives of the Ukrainian municipalities had a chance to highlight investment opportunities for their localities, as well as to discuss—in expert-led groups—major environmental and energy-related problems facing their regions: water and waste management, local-level energy security, sustainable mobility, and environmental awareness. Anna Czyżewska, Director of the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, and Miran Gajšek, Head of the Department of Urban Planning of the Slovenian municipality of Ljubljana, shared with participants the challenges and experiences of their countries on the path towards sustainability.
The second day brought together both the LINK project and the National Workshop on Public Environmental, Energy Awareness and Training Strategy, a session that was organised with the support of the Japan Special Fund. Participants were able to broaden their networks, enrich their knowledge of the legal framework within the environmental and energy sectors, and become familiar with existing activities on energy efficiency in Ukraine conducted by the State Energy Efficiency and the Energy Saving Agency.
Please click here for more information and other documents related to the REC Sustainable Investment Forum.
Presentations of the LINK municipalities are available here: UA version